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Thursday Bird Droppings: Mychal Givens is officially back with the Orioles

That’s three free agents signed by the Orioles, which would have sounded exciting two months ago.

MLB: JUL 21 Orioles at Nationals Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now three months and eight days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2023. It is 14 weeks away from happening.

The Orioles took care of two more pieces of offseason business yesterday. First, they officially announcing Monday’s reported signing of once-and-current Orioles reliever Mychal Givens. In a surprise move on Wednesday night, the team also announced they have acquired catcher James McCann from the Mets for a PTBNL. Tyler Nevin was DFA’d as the corresponding roster move

That makes three major league free agent signings and a fourth who’s arrived in a trade over this offseason, which is a number I would have found interesting back in October, before I knew who the four guys were.

What’s more, as is visited in one of today’s links, none of the three players that the Orioles have signed have gotten more than one guaranteed year on their contracts. There is room on both the roster and on the payroll to add in players who will be around beyond this season. It is disappointing that the front office hasn’t made any investment from outside the organization in any player who is expected to be around for the next two or more years. The only guaranteed 2024 money on the books is now the portion they’ll be on the hook to pay of McCann’s salary for two seasons from now - probably about $2.5 million.

I guess we’ll see if that changes - or if they’re right to wait another year. It is not out of the question that the Orioles might sign someone who’s still out there. But it’s clear no one should get their hopes up for this happening, and even if it did, there are few if any players who would generate much more than a shrug if the O’s did add them to the mix now. Certainly not after watching the Mets make a string of high-profile signings that will lead to their having a competitive balance tax bill larger than the Orioles entire payroll.

As the 2022 year is winding towards its conclusion and we are close to arriving in next year, how are you feeling about the 2023 Orioles? Have they crushed your excitement by not making a big pitching signing? Are you looking forward to rolling forward with nearly the entire same group of position players, or do you have concerns about regression from some of that group? Do you think there are enough prospects ready to go to make a difference?

Around the blogO’sphere

Leftovers on Adam Frazier (School of Roch)
One thing that makes me really uncomfortable about the Adam Frazier signing is how even its defenders can only invoke comparisons to Rougned Odor, when it needs to justify displacing Ramón Urías from a presumed second base job (unless someone is traded).

Givens returns to where it all started in Baltimore (
This season’s bullpen was mostly guys fighting for a place in MLB. Many had success. Some did not. In Givens, it seems the O’s are hoping to find a successful veteran who can bring some leadership to the group - as he remembers Darren O’Day and others doing for him.

The cost of a trade is steep, but this is what the Orioles are built for (The Baltimore Banner)
The Banner’s Andy Kostka says it may be time for Mike Elias to decide which prospects he’ll part with to get established talent. He ain’t wrong.

Orioles continue playing small ball, sign Mychal Givens (FanGraphs)
The conclusion here is that the O’s only giving out one-year deals suggests they don’t think their window is open yet or will open in 2023. It will be a bummer if this analysis proves correct.

Looking ahead to the rest of the Orioles offseason (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff runs through some of the lingering questions about what’s left that the Orioles might do. I wholeheartedly reject the mention of Eric Hosmer as an “intriguing name” for “backup first baseman,” which is a bad thing to need especially when chasing it means you get Jesús Aguilar or, for that matter, Hosmer.

A quiet winter after a breakout season? Maybe just another way the Orioles are following the Astros. (The Baltimore Sun)
We’ve all been wondering how long the Orioles would parallel last decade’s Astros. If the 2022 O’s were equivalent to the 2015 wild card Astros, it’s worth noting those Astros didn’t do much and then won two fewer games in 2016 before making the big leap in 2017.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are quite a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2019-22 infielder Richie Martin, 2015 ten-gamer Rey Navarro, 2011-18 pitcher Zack Britton, 2011 infielder Blake Davis, 2011 pitcher Chris Jakubauskas, 1984 reliever Tom Underwood, and 1968-79 catcher and longtime coach Elrod Hendricks.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: opera composer Giacomo Puccini (1858), Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack (1862), Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton (1944), American Idol winner Jordin Sparks (1989), and singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor (1993).

On this day in history...

In 401, Innocent I was elected as the pope, succeeding his father, whose papal name was Anastasius I. In the long history of the papacy, this is believed to be the only father-son succession.

In 1808, Ludwig Van Beethoven premiered both his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies in Vienna, along with his Fourth Piano Concerto, in which Beethoven was both the piano soloist and conductor.

In 1944, the Germans demanded the surrender of encircled American paratroopers at Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge. Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, commanding the defending forces only because his boss was in Washington for staff conferences, famously sent back the following reply: “Nuts!”

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a law repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that had banned homosexuals from serving openly in the US armed forces for the previous 17 years.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 22. Have a safe Thursday.